Rating: 5 out of 5
Not the great saga by GRRM but a broader, more wilful take on his world… I found this a major improvement on the other stories. This is partly because of the uniform way it was written in (no POV aspect), but also the same fictional author — Archmaester Gyldayn. Gyldayn is indeed a humorous figure and he, under Martin’s pen, often inputs excellent commentary into the conversation.
This is all the better as quite often the subject under discussion is a rather serious affair — kinslaying or murder or assassination, more than half the time. As such, we end up with a beautifully caustic description of events which yet laments the inevitable — as any history of many centuries should.
The biggest weakness here is that several parts of the story have been previously published. I had gone through the Dance of Dragons story in a slightly shorter version several times, for example. Yet, that only added to the inevitableness of it all…
Overall, I’d recommend this and it could even be worth trying if one is not, in general, a fan of GRRM. After all, “Who can know the heart of a dragon?” — perhaps it’s you?